Woman gets 2 life sentences in deaths of sons

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (AP) -- A Bradley County judge sentenced a woman to two life terms in the deaths of her two young sons.

Tasha Bates was convicted in August of murder and child neglect in the deaths of 3-year-old River and 5-year-old Leland, who were left in a car last June when the temperature hit 101 degrees.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Bates' attorney, Richard Hughes, asked that the sentences be allowed to run concurrently, meaning she would serve just one life sentence.

The prosecution didn't object, but the judge refused, meaning Bates will have to serve the sentences consecutively, or one after the other.

In Tennessee, life sentences call for at least 51 years behind bars.

Hughes said the judge's ruling essentially nullifies any chance of parole for Bates.

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